More than friends?
Ok, here's the deal, I've known this guy for a little over a year. He
is really nice. He and I have become friends. We talk about alot of things.
Usually we just joke around with each other but sometimes we talk about
serious stuff too. Recently he started to have some personal problems
and came to me with them. I left him talk and get things off of his chest.
I didn't tell him what he should or shouldn't do, I just listened to him.
Some of my other friends are telling me that they think he is interested
in more than just a friendship. They told me that he talks about me all
the time when I'm not around. He even comes into the place where I work
to see if I'm working, he askes them if they have seen me and if not,
he leaves. I
didn't believe them until I was at work one day and he came in. He didn't
see me and I heard him ask my co worker where I was because he saw that
my car was outside and he knew that I was working. My friends asked me
is looking for me. When I tell then that he just wants to talk they ask
me what we talk about. I promised him that I would keep it between us
so I tell them that it is personal. I think they are jealous because he
only talks to me.
I guess what I want to know is if you think that they could be right
about him wanting more than just friendship? Could it be that I'm to close
to the situation to see it?
The problem is I only like him as a friend. He is alot older than I am.
I'm glad he feels like he can open up to me and tell me how he feels.
If he does want more than friendship, how can I tell him that I don't
without hurting his feelings and ruining the friendship?
I would really appreciate your advice. I need someone that will tell
me the truth no matter what.
You are in a dangerous position, and you need to think very carefully
What is likely to have happened, is that he has become dependent on you,
through your amateur 'therapy' sessions, though it is possible that he
already had a crush which came first.
The danger is that he will, sooner or later, start making assumptions
about your feelings for him - this is quite understandable; you are patient
and kind, he's simply misinterpreting this.
At that point, you will either hurt him, or he will simply reject your
rejection. Neither of these is good.
It is flattering to have one's advice sought - and I very much enjoy
that experience, too. But it is vital to keep a measure of detachment
(easy on the web, difficult in person).
I don't doubt your genuine good intentions, but you have not had the
benefit of a training in counselling that would have prepared you for
Start to move him away; instead of helping him yourself, start referring
him to other (professional) help; make it clear this is not optional "This
is something I just can't help you with; let's talk again when you've
spoken to ..."
Always be honest with him, and add in distancing phrases "I'm nothing
special - I'd give my best advice to anyone, who wouldn't" If he
flatters your abilities, Always, always, reject it "No, I'm
just telling you what I think, don't misunderstand me"
Gradually wean him off; be honest, be firm - you'll be fine
You are obviously concerned about this, and you are right to be. Consider
getting local advice on this for yourself, if this goes badly.